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Financing a Funeral

Things to consider for financing a funeral:  

  1. Review the life insurance policy
  2. Check for low-cost burial options
  3. Consider a loan
  4. Ask other family members to assist with financial responsibilities
  5. Reach out to the religious community and crowdfunding
  6. Contact your county’s coroner’s office

One of the first and biggest responsibilities to consider when a loved one dies is the financial cost associated with a funeral. If you find yourself having to deal with the expenses of a funeral, know that it can be overwhelming, but also there are resources that are available to you. See the list below for some ways to potentially offset your financial costs.  


If your loved one had an insurance policy, some of the costs may be covered. Review the policy to determine whether it can pay for all or some of the funeral and burial expenses.  Contact an insurance agent or financial advisor to help you go over all of the policy’s details.  


Low-cost burial options may be helpful to consider if your loved one did not have a life insurance policy. If cremation is an option, this process may be less expensive since you won’t have to purchase a casket. If cremation is not an option, compare prices online or in stores to make sure that the prices you’re being told are similar to what you see at other locations.  


If you are comfortable with taking on the responsibility of a loan, consider applying for one from a bank or a credit union to pay for the burial. You may also look for institutions that offer or specialize in funeral loans. The funeral home you are working with may have suggested lenders to assist with loan options.  


You may have been asked by the family to help with funeral planning. Consider asking family members to help with the expenses. Be honest about the overall expenses. It might be helpful to create a cost sheet to help keep track of all of the expenses. With everyone contributing an amount they are comfortable with, it might make the process feel more affordable.  


Many of us have good support systems and ties to our communities. Consider reaching out to yours for financial assistance. Creating a crowdsourcing page, such as GoFundMe, allows your loved ones and others to contribute to the expenses associated with funeral costs.  Your Advocate at Carson’s Village can also create a Family Support Webpage for you to share with friends and family.  All of the services offered by Carson’s Village are free.  Click here if you would like to connect with an Advocate to help with this resource.


If you are unable to generate funds to pay for burial or cremations costs, contact your county coroner’s office. The coroner’s office may have you sign a release form confirming that you are unable to pay the burial fees.  The county and state may contribute to either burying or cremating the body. If the county is responsible for the cremation they will arrange to have the ashes delivered to the family, or bury the ashes in a common grave.  


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